Do you know God; if so, how?
How do you know that you know God?
Can you feel Him near?
Can His Presence be felt or known through the ( physical ) senses, biologically speaking?
If so, how?
If not, why not?
There are many questions surrounding this subject & just as many answers! If God can only be known spiritually, as in an ecstatic or emotional sense, then maybe the Pentecostals are right; one must have an emotionally-charged experience ( 'ecstasy' ) in order to truly experience God, or The Moving of the Spirit! Maybe God can be truly known only through the study of The Written Word, as most Christians seem to think! Must we quiet our own spirit in order for His Spirit to be known, as others might tell you?
Is it possible to know ( experience ) the Presence of God through use of the five ( physical/biological ) senses? The argument has been proffered that He can! It is through our Communion with the Body of His Son that we experience His Presence! One might ask the question, 'do we experience God only when we are in the company of, or communing with, the Body of Christ, His People, or Church?' The answer to this question might seem to be obvious & simple, but is it really? Does a Christian ( missionary, for example ) living in a foreign county among Muslims ( for example ) experience the Presence of God? Can he or she feel Him near?
Many Christians are becoming aware that the Institutional Church & even the Scriptures are not the only way to experience God ( some might argue that, in fact, God CANNOT be experienced in these ways )! How then, can we know that we know Him; how can we experience His Presence, if not through the Body of His Son, the Church, or through the written Revelation of His Word? Is there a way that His Presence can be experienced, or felt through the senses apart from these means?
All do not acknowledge their Creator & though this is a sadly undeniable fact, the argument could be made that we can know ( experience ) God through interaction with them! While it may be unorthodox to offer this suggestion, it is possible to experience the Presence of God through a sort of communion with even those who claim to be unbelievers! Even though they may not acknowledge His Living Presence or experience The Blessings of His Covenant, they are still His Creation, His Offspring, and so are in Covenant & Communion with Him!
When we leave our own comfort zone & venture into these shady areas, sharing the Love of Christ & shining our Light into the darkest regions, we may experience the Presence of God through our Blessed Interaction, even with those deemed most unworthy of our Communion! As we step out in Faith, doing what our Father has called us to do & living in Communion with His Glorious Creation, we may in fact, experience Him in ways & to degrees that we have never experienced Him before!
In encapsulation of the Ten Commandments given through Moses; Jesus, the New Moses, told us, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.........' & '..........your neighbor as yourself'' ( Matthew 22:37-39 ). The question has been asked, 'who is my neighbor?' ( Luke 10:29 ) Jesus wisely had His questioner answer his own question, that a person's neighbor was one who filled a certain need because it needed to be filled, not because the needy person had all of his or her doctrinal ducks in a row & not because they worshiped or had Blessed Communion with their Creator, but simply because the need was there!
In today's day & age, there is a most definite & obvious need for The Knowledge of God! This is not to say that we can always fill that need, or even that our sharing & shining will always have the desired effect; the sad fact of the matter is, it won't! As in Jesus' 'Parable of the Soils', some of our Seed will fall by the wayside, some will fall on stony ground & some will be choked out by weeds, but as the Body of Christ, we can be assured that some will fall on good, ready ground & bear much fruit!
Since God is a ( the ) Spirit, The Knowledge of God is spiritually discerned, but as it works its way out through our fingertips & the fingertips of the corporate Body of Christ, His Presence will be known & experienced by those who need Him! Even those who do not acknowledge or find joy in His Presence will know His Blessed Presence through His People, but only as His People shine His Light & share His Joy with His Beloved Creation, especially with those we deem unworthy of His Love!
Charles Haddon Shank